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Beyond Usual Suspects, Seahawks Receivers Will Have Difficult Time Making Active Roster

Beyond the likes of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge and Freddie Swain, the Seahawks have an intriguing group of receivers looking to make the active roster this summer. But if Seattle approaches the position like it did last year, standing out will be especially difficult for the team's young wideouts.

For those not named DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge or Freddie Swain, making the Seahawks' active roster as a receiver will be very difficult—if not impossible—to achieve in 2022. Seattle had no issues keeping its receiver room small last year, beginning the regular season with just the aforementioned quartet in tow, and it's possible that could be the case again this summer. 

Talented wideouts are coming into the league in droves and saturating the market more than ever; and with practice squad elevations—albeit limited per player—now at every team's disposal, picking and choosing depth pieces without committing beyond a particular game week has become the norm. The Seahawks have often taken this route with their pass catchers, specifically elevating the likes of Penny Hart and Cody Thompson during the past two seasons. 

Beyond the usual suspects, Seattle's current group of receivers is fairly crowded. Hart, Thompson, Cade Johnson and Aaron Fuller have been carried over from last season, while 2022 seventh-round draft picks Bo Melton and Dareke Young, as well as recent signing Deontez Alexander and undrafted rookie free agent Kevin Kassis, have joined the fray. 

Hart and Thompson have the most experience, which may give them the upper hand in this potential competition. Johnson tested poorly and went undrafted a year ago, but he was an accomplished receiver at South Dakota State, where he showed above-average route running and after-the-catch ability. Fuller has shined in each of the last two training camps and could factor into the punt and kick returning equation for the Seahawks. 

Melton was plagued by a run-heavy system and poor quarterback play at Rutgers, but he tested well and may have a leg up on the competition in one key area (more on that later). Young is a freak athlete with the versatility to play a multitude of roles in an offense, though it remains to be seen if he can make the massive jump from Division III competition to the NFL level. For now, Alexander and Kassis merely look like camp bodies and may filter in and out of Seattle as the team actively tweaks its 90-man roster. 

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Offensive snaps are going to be vastly limited for any of the names mentioned, so to break camp with the Seahawks, they'll have to prove useful on special teams. 

Thompson was a special teams ace in college and has shown spurts of that in Seattle, most notably recovering a forced fumble against the Cardinals in Week 18 of the 2021 season. Hart has also been an active special teams player over the past two seasons, making 16 tackles on 323 snaps. 

Melton, however, will give Thompson and Hart a run for their money as the best special-teamer in this group. The Rutgers product excelled as a gunner during his collegiate career, but he could really make some noise if he flashes as a returner—an area the Seahawks have lacked upside at for some time. Considering the fact he put up a 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds at the combine and showed eye-catching quickness and elusiveness on tape, there's a decent chance he could find enough success in that role to force Seattle's hand.

The Seahawks could also utilize one of their roster spots to protect themselves from losing a receiver they like—perhaps someone raw with a high ceiling like Young—to the waiver wire after cuts are made. 

But again: the market is heavily saturated, and a lot of receivers are going to fall through the cracks. Seattle may very well feel confident that whoever it eventually cuts will follow suit and sign back with its practice squad. 

The team made that gamble last year and it paid off, reinforcing the idea that it opts to do so again. And if that winds up being true, then someone will have to stand out in a way that's impossible for head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and company to ignore.